Egypt Professor Faces Possible Dismissal Over Dancing Video - Higher Education


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Egypt Professor Faces Possible Dismissal Over Dancing Video

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by Menna Zaki, Associated Press

CAIRO — An Egyptian professor could face dismissal over a video posted on Facebook showing her belly dancing on her rooftop, which sparked an investigation by her college in the Red Sea port city of Suez.

In the video, which was later shared widely online, Mona Prince was not wearing the kind of revealing outfit normally worn by belly dancers, but rather a loose and modest gown. However, many on social media viewed the English literature professor’s behavior as unbecoming of a university teacher.

Images purporting to show Prince in a bikini have since surfaced on social media, adding to allegations of immorality in conservative Muslim-majority Egypt.

Belly dancing is widely practiced by Egyptian women, but mostly in private. Professional belly dancers perform in weddings and at night spots.

Prince was already in trouble with the Suez University before the video surfaced. She was suspended in February over alleged poor performance. However, she told The Associated Press on Thursday that the video was being used as an excuse to push ahead with her “persecution” and later dismissal over the unconventional teaching methods she uses.

Maher Mesbah, the head of Suez University, said his decision to suspend her fell within his rights, but he would leave it up to members of faculty investigating her to decide her fate.

A statement by the Ministry of Higher Education said it guarantees the personal freedom of teaching staff, but added that it should not come “at the expense of university norms and ethics.”

“Good reputation is the basis” of hiring college teachers, said the statement, published by local media.

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Prince is threatening legal action if she is dismissed.

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